. . . for the sake of story? If you’re writing thrillers, mysteries, or suspense novels, you can get away with murder. Literally. But murder doesn’t often fit into the romance genre. Or women’s fiction. Doesn’t mean it can’t—especially in chick lit—just means it’s unlikely. It would have to be done very well to ring true and not morph the story into romantic suspense.
I think for an ordinary blue collar type girl—now a mature, in the sense of age anyway, woman—I’ve lived an exciting life. I chased a British movie star to Great Britain and also toured most of Europe shortly after my 20th birthday. For someone who’d never been more than two states away in either direction and always accompanied by my parents, a trip with a friend to the distant shores was indeed quite an adventure. When I returned, I realized just how much a university education was not in my repertoire, and I joined the vagabond life of horse racing. Finally a life with horses—a dream come true.
But in between gala events in my lifetime, there is much ordinary living. And isn’t that the case for most of us?
So. If we follow the instructions of writing a breakout novel, we must create tension on every page—or conflict, conflict, conflict. Huh. Is that how you want to live your life? In a perpetual state of angst?
Now high school romances present lots of conflicts, but how about the process of discovering each other as adults? Just how much tension is reality? UST (unresolved sexual tension) will no doubt be apparent if there’s any testosterone/estrogen anxiety. But what about mayhem? Isn’t that just a bit much for a romance novel?
How many times have you read the back cover copy of a novel and immediately figured out the process of the characters? Admittedly, there are tried and true formulas for certain genres, but when the conflicts and resolutions are predictable before the cover is opened, what’s the point? Well, evidently, the point for many readers is traipsing through the angst of that conflict just because . . .
Life is often ordinary. It doesn’t need to be falsified to make it interesting or meaningful. It would seem the true writer could take great pleasure in bringing “real” to life on the pages of story . . .
Lord, you are the only “extraordinary” I know. That you would dwell in me is beyond my comprehension, but I’m so grateful. So very thankful. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.